Thursday, October 21, 2004

If it's Thursday, there must be another Peerio partnership

Popular Telephony wins this week's newsflow award hands down, and it is quite daunting to think that the company has achieved so much on the basis of angel money to date, while other, better-known companies have been landing additional VC money in ever-larger quantities. However, it seems that the market is waking up, and the company is at last getting coverage in some higher profile venues (,17863,725862,00.html). It's interesting to step back and remember that Skype was more or less a whisper this time last year, and now returns 913,000 hits as a search query on Google. Peerio returns 906, but that should change.

Today Popular Telephony has announced a deal with Atonics Inc. of Taiwan, to license Peerio for use in Atonics IP phone products, including Wi-Fi handsets ( This is interesting in light of last week's announcement with Global IP Sound and my speculation that this might relate to a push in the wireless arena. It is also interesting to see the company moving into the Asian market, where the stakes are probably higher in the long run than in Europe (remember Skype's only co-branded ISP deal to date has also been in Taiwan, and this seems to have contributed to making the Taiwanese the second largest group of Skype users in the world).

To date, the market, and particularly the brokers, have tended to downplay the potential collateral damage to cellular operators from VoWi-Fi, and this is another data point along the way to suggest that the issue is not to be ignored. (Anecdotally, I have been interested to see the number of people wandering into my site initially looking for information on Wi-Fi handsets from producers like Senao, also a Taiwanese company. At this point I would have to say that search queries related to Wi-Fi handsets are probably the third most common ones I see coming in.)

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